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What’s new: J.K. Rowling’s ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ a Joan Rivers bio and ‘Writing to Save a Life’

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay" by J.K. Rowling. Credit: Scholastic

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: The Original Screenplay, by J.K. Rowling. It’s a good year for “Harry Potter” fans. In July, the published script of a London play brought Harry into middle age and sent his son, Albus, to Hogwarts. Now, the screenplay of a new film relates the adventures of “magizoologist” Newt Scamander and the magical creatures of the title, on the loose in 1920s New York. (Scholastic, $24.99)

LAST GIRL BEFORE FREEWAY: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers, by Leslie Bennetts. A contributor to Vanity Fair offers a sympathetic portrait of the scathingly funny and ambitious comedian who broke ground for women in comedy but had more than her share of professional setbacks and personal tragedy, including the suicide of her husband and manager. (Little, Brown; $28)

WRITING TO SAVE A LIFE: The Louis Till File, by John Edgar Wideman. Emmett Till was the 14-year-old black boy murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. In this new book, a provocative mix of nonfiction and imagined scenes, Wideman revisits that case, and shines a light on Emmett’s little-known father, who was executed in Italy during World War II for rape and murder. (Scribner, $25)


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